www.whyville.net May 13, 2012 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Up in Flames: Part 1

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"Fire!" Someone cried from across the street. The house shone and stood out brightly from the rest of the street as the flames licked away at its walls, consuming it. Everything smelt like the horrible smell of smoke which was rising from the house in intoxicated clouds of fume.

Alex's family was poor with not even a spare cent to buy any of the toys and games he had ever wished for. What little he did have was now billowing up with the smoke into the sky, destroyed by the flames. Except for one thing? It was a little glass clock attached to a silver chain passed down to him many years ago by his grandfather before he passed away. The numbers on its face were written with roman numerals and its hands always seemed to face at the exact same time, 12 o'clock.

Tears poured from his mother's face and his father stood, willing himself not to cry. Alex just stared, watching as the place that he had always called home turned to ash. Neighbors from their street and even some from streets nearby were all crowded around, some panicky and frantic and some mesmerized by the astonishing scene in front of them.

Half the house had already been eaten away by the time the fire department arrived. They sprayed thick gushes of water from their hoses onto it until the flames died out. Once everyone had settled down a bit more they began to discuss things with some of the adults, including Alex's parents.

He felt the need to inch closer to the house. Smoke still contaminated the air and the remains of the house were covered in a black blanket of ash and soot. A loud sizzling noise still came from the crumbling wood but Alex kept edging closer. His parents and the firemen were still discussing the disaster and took no notice of him.

A photograph sat at the edge of the destroyed building. Alex picked it up and studied its singed frame. It had been a photo from his mother and father's wedding. Now all that was left was a black burnt out hole from inside the frame. He tossed it back into the crumbled remains of his old home and surveyed the damage.

Furniture lay torn and useless in the pile of ash. Kitchen equipment was strewn across the garden. The old willow tree's bark was black and bleeding and a branch had fallen on top of a burnt and lifeless bed. The little window Alex used to gaze out of every morning had melted into the dirt. All the destruction was horrendous. Suddenly Alex felt an overwhelming sensation of loss and grief. Nothing had been saved. Out of all his possessions a little glass pocket watch was all he had left.


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